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Thread: Original Sin (IC)

  1. #161
    Asher Bharrant
    Inferno
    Afternoon

    "Your loss."

    It was to be expected, there was only a slight chance that Mary would latch onto those words and for her bloodlust to spring back into action. Perhaps it was for the best that she didn't, if she had taken the bait it'd have been harder to bodyguard Mattias at a later date.

    But something was off on this whole thing. For an underworld mercenary group known for accomplishing any mission, they certainly didn't seem to take this seriously.

    Or rather, it all seemed staged. As if there was another purpose for this charade.

    ---Alas, even if their attacks were sloppy and all over the place, they were still attacking Asher. His shoulder hasn't had the time to fully recover yet, but it will have to do.

    Another attack came that was far too easily evaded. A mockery of a fight, or perhaps this was yet another test?

    Regardless of the underlying circumstances, even if the goal of this 'bounty' was a frame job, it no longer mattered to Asher.

    Now was the time to fight fire with fire and answer violence with fiercer, more vicious violence.

    And so, without a hint of remorse, Asher awaited the next attacker to come close enough for a retaliation.

    And as soon as one would, the Devil contractor would no longer pull his punches, instead displaying the full might of his Limbs of Steel-!


  2. #162
    Imperial Princess Satehi's Avatar
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    Theola August
    Inferno
    Afternoon


    Into…?

    In a way, it was both a disappointment and a relief that the governor had decided to drop her topic from earlier.

    A relief because it meant that whatever concerns she had about Nameless’s interaction with her were dropped. A disappointment, since it meant that Theola would not be able to learn any more about her, or whatever happened with her former superior.

    Of course, not that she let any of it show. Theola simply nodded impassively as the governor switched the topic.

    Scanning over the documents the chief had laid out over the table, she mainly looked for two things.

    One was the news of the activities of her former partner. It was… interesting, for personal reasons. In the end, her past would not matter, but at the moment Theola could not resist her curiosity.

    The second was information relevant to their target. Julius.

    “How reliable is this information? Do we know how to catch him?”

  3. #163
    Asher Bharrant
    Inferno
    Afternoon

    Things wouldn't go the way they planned. And Asher was growing sick of playing around of this charade. It was time for him to break the script, by force if need be.

    He could feel strength surge through his limbs as he tapped into the power of the supernatural contract he had signed. An ability that put him far beyond the likes of normal people, one that transformed him into a beast of war. The next enemy would be in for quite a nasty surprise if he thought things would go the same as last time.

    Yet another black talon moved in to 'attack' Asher. A feigned attack, with no threat behind him. A weakling already retreating before the attack even finished. Asher suddenly charged forward.

    The distance between the two instantly shrunk to nothing. Surprise flickered briefly on the face of the Talon, but there was no time for anything more to show. Asher drove his reinforced fist into the chest of the Talon. A heavy impact shook the air as the man was blasted backwards, as if it he been hit full force by a sledgehammer rather than simply punched by a man.

    "Oh?"

    For the first time, Mary seemed to show seem interest. As she turned her attention to watch Asher... many things happened at once.

    A large explosion rocked the room as the floor beneath Mary's feet crumbled as several Talons burst through. The instant their hands touched Mary, her body seemed to begin to crystallize. Upon a second glance, it probably would have been more accurate to say her body began to petrify, as rock rapidly formed and spread all around her body. This applied to each of the areas that the Talons hands made contact with.

    "!?"

    As one, all of the Talons turned to face Mary. It clearly wasn't a coincidence that they just happened to be positioned in a way that allowed them all to have a clean shot at the target with no danger of friendly fire. Countless ethereal spears were fired and instantly skewered the ambushed girl. The next moment, she had fully been entombed by stone, the rocky cocoon dropping to the ground with a heavy thud. Yet the assault had not finished. The talons that had attacked from below began their next attack, as more and more layers of rock formed around Mary's rocky tomb. A terrible crunching sound as they compressed the earth unto itself, further crushing the body inside.

    At last, the attack finished. From the moment Asher had punched the Talon, no more than five seconds could have passed.

    "Phew. I was a bit nervous there for a while there, but I'm glad our backup plan worked. We managed to avoid taking significant casualties, and still managed to collect the biggest bounty in history," Their leader (?) spoke, addressing the rest of the Talons. He walked over to Mary's stone tomb and knocked on it a few times.

    "Airtight. Stabbing. Skewering. Crushing. Asphyxiation. She's been killed many times over. Even one as powerful as the former 'Witch of Frost' is human in the end. As long as she's killed before she can summon her power, there's nothing to fear."

    "And now what." Sen spoke, cutting into the Black Talon's thoughts. She stood with her arms crossed, with a frown on her face.

    The Black Talon turned to look at Sen. "You know, even though you weren't specified in the request, there is quite a large general bounty on your head... just joking" he added when he noticed that Sen's expression didn't even change at all. "With the amount of money being paid for Mary, there's not really much need for any extra. Forget being paid a fortune, to think that the client would offer a fortune for every single Talon... hehahaha"



    Theola August
    Inferno
    Afternoon


    “How reliable is this information? Do we know how to catch him?”
    "It should be fairly accurate. We have spent quite a large amount of effort and time gathering it after all," the chief replied, with a hint of pride.

    "But unfortunately, that doesn't mean we still have a solution yet. The fact of the matter is, he is extremely cautious to an absurd degree. The type to avoid any risks at all costs. I was hoping he might pop his head out when presented with a big enough bait, but I suppose that was too optimistic a hope..." Loki mused.

    "I'm thinking that our current best course of actions is to continue gathering information to see if we can gain some key clue or insight to his hideout. In the meantime, we continue to crack down on them with the full might of the city, really put the pressure on them."

    "Perhaps if they get desperate enough, they'll even turn on Julius and offer him up themselves... After all they say there's no loyalty among thieves. That would be for the best. I would like to avoid a lengthy, costly, bloody war between the underworld and the government forces, if I can help it, for the sake of the citizens..."

    The chief looked somewhat uncomfortable with Loki's cold tone of voice. "Well, that's somewhat of our last option anyway. As she said, it would be best to avoid that. With that said, Theola. I'm going to be putting you and your squad on investigation duties rather than suppression duties for the time being."

    He pushed forward another set of files over to Theola. "Here are some known hotspots for underworld activity. Furthermore, and this goes without saying, but you should be going plainclothes when investigating, do you understand? This is an undercover mission." The chief leaned back and gave a weary sigh. "Please learn from your predecessor, as an example on what not to do. In other words, don't barge straight in and demand that everybody tell her what she wants to know, while also telling them that they were to be arrested."

    Theola was unaware of the particular incident the chief was talking about, but it was certainly something she could picture Skye doing.
    <Satehi> I, satehi, thought of tentacles first for entirely inappropriate, disgusting, lewd and perverted reasons

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  4. #164
    Asher Bharrant
    Inferno
    Afternoon

    ---A diversion.

    Rather than taking on the potentially weakened Devil Contractors after they used their power, the Black Talons needed to switch gears into pretending that Sen was their initial target. A plan that Asher unwittingly gave more credence to by taking it seriously for that last moment.

    By fueling his limbs with demonic might he had taken the attention of the Witch, leading to her downfall.

    The Black Talon, they were indeed a group that should not be underestimated.

    Their teamwork, weaponry and strange power had certainly resulted in the defeat of Mary Allis, the girl that gave her all for the sake of revenge.

    Had you listened, you wouldn't be in this situation now. You reap what you sow.

    ...Yet, was this truly her fate?

    The infamous ice queen that together with her nemesis left their battlefields barren, burned, frozen and destroyed. Felled by spears and stone in an ambush by mercenaries? It seemed like an ill fit for the whims of fate, to the point where Asher's instinctual feeling was to keep his blood lust linger for just a bit longer.

    While maintaining his awareness of the area, Mary's 'tomb' especially, he addressed the more vocal member of the Talons.

    "I suppose congratulations are in order? Though I'm not entirely convinced that's the end of it."

    He glanced at Sen, who he surmised would have a better grasp over the existence that is Mary Allis and what to expect from her.

    If nothing happens in these following moments, then Asher's blood lust would naturally diminish. Without a target to break and beat, there's no need for his heightened, adrenaline pumped state.

    "So, what happens now?"

    Both the tomb and the Talons were still potential targets, with that thought in mind Asher kept his guard up... ready for any surprises.

  5. #165
    Asher Bharrant
    Inferno
    Afternoon


    "I suppose congratulations are in order? Though I'm not entirely convinced that's the end of it."
    Asher glanced over at Sen to try to gauge her reaction to the current situation, but her expression was completely unreadable.

    "So, what happens now?"
    "That does seem to be current issue doesn't it? What happens now then." Sen echoed Asher's sentiments. "If you're not planning on fighting us, then what? Are you just going to let us leave? Retire with the fortune you all managed to earn for yourselves?"

    The Black Talon leader chuckled.

    "Sorry, but unfortunately we still require your assistance for just a little longer. Considering how smoothly this has gone has got me thinking, and I've decided we're going to fulfill the contract's 'bonus objective' after all."

    "We're not interested."

    An instant refusal.

    "That's a shame, you could have earned a fortune for yourselves. All you needed to do was to repeat your little performance here. Well, it should be fine regardless. It seems that the 'Witch of Frost' wasn't that big a deal after all. In that case, killing the 'Burning Demon' should be-"

    The next few moments were a blur.

    A powerful force suddenly assaulted Asher, launching him back. He let out a gasp of air as his body slammed through the restaurant walls. Even with his enhanced reactions, it took him several moments for him to realize what was happening.

    Sen had moved faster than his eyes could track, and had grabbed him before proceeding to shove him through several restaurant walls. He didn't have any time to ponder this sudden revelation any further, as the next instant they broke out the premises, Sen tossed him like one would throw a baseball pitch. He flew across the street at a blistering speed before hitting the buildings on the other side hard enough that he left an imprint in the wall. If he were an ordinary person, he might have died; and even though his body had been reinforced by the devil's contract, he was still in a world of pain.

    "You... hey... are you... still alive..."

    Asher could see Sen leaning over with her hands on her knees, panting due to the exertion of effort. And behind her...

    The entire restaurant had been frozen over. Not just the restaurant itself, but the buildings next to it as well. Before, Asher had thought of the stone that Mary had been trapped in as her tomb, but the sight before his eyes was much more fitting for the word.

    A world encased in ice, where even time itself seemed to have stopped. Anything and anyone unfortunate enough to be caught were frozen solid in and instant and preserved for the world to witness, their final moments.

    But I guess it's sort of like dynamite in that sense. As long as the fuse is unlit, it's harmless.
    Sen's words from earlier echoes in his mind. As long as the fuse is unlit, they're 'harmless'. However, what does that mean conversely.

    If their fuse was lit, they would go off. An explosion of power that engulfs all those in the vicinity without exception. Dynamite was a rather fitting metaphor, and yet it didn't quite accurately portray the danger well enough.

    This was the result.

    The speed. The power. The raw scale.

    And she had an equal.

    The most dangerous pair in all of Inferno.
    <Satehi> I, satehi, thought of tentacles first for entirely inappropriate, disgusting, lewd and perverted reasons

    Honk





  6. #166
    Asher Bharrant
    Inferno
    Afternoon

    "God.... damn...."

    A truly fatal mistake was made.

    As soon as the Black Talon leader had spoken of taking out the Burning Demon, the equally dreadful nemesis of the Witch of Ice and Frost, their fates were sealed.

    There was hardly any time to react, had Asher been alone his dream would have died there. Forever clad in ice.

    But he wasn't alone, as luck would have it Sen had been there. A monstrously powerful woman in her own right, as the damage she left in her escape shows.

    What saved the both of them was her knowledge of the existence known as the Sin of Lust, the Burning Demon Mattias and his extreme similarity to Mary Allis.

    Asher had seen the destruction and chaos those two caused before, but never had it been this fast. This explosive...

    "...Urgh... That hurt... like hell."

    Slowly his senses return to him. The sense of movement in his limbs is quickly taken over by aching pains. His ears ring from the impact, but enough of Sen's words can be understood. His blurry vision regains its focus, and Asher truly beholds that utterly ridiculous sight.

    Sen's favorite restaurant and the Black Talon members within it, clad in ice, like a memory frozen in time.

    Even the places surrounding the restaurant were not spared from the Witch's wrath.

    Within a moment's notice that place, where life once happily continued, had turned into a frigid field of death.

    A tomb.

    "Thanks Sen... you saved me..."

    Asher carefully yet painfully rose up once his legs regained their strength, his eyes quickly seeing his savior in a fatigued state.

    "Are you going be alright?"

    With his legs still reeling a bit from the impact, he walks over to the Sin of Wrath, carefully keeping his guard up to watch out from anything inside that lifeless block of ice.

    "...We might want to get away from here."

    --Soon enough, Asher will need this level of alertness.

    Or his fate ends up in ashes.

  7. #167
    Imperial Princess Satehi's Avatar
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    Theola August
    Inferno
    Afternoon


    Bait.

    Theola raised her eyebrows upon hearing the governor’s choice of words.

    Gutsy of her, to put her own life on the line to lure out this man- a definite plus, in Theola’s book. She could respect that kind of resolve.

    She would have to do her best on this mission, to make sure that those efforts were not in vain and that Julius was put behind bars. Thankfully, although he couldn’t have known it, this mission that the chief had just assigned to her…

    “Relax, Chief.”

    …was one of her specialties, in a way.

    “I know a thing or two about going undercover. I’ll blend right in.”

  8. #168
    Asher Bharrant
    Inferno
    Afternoon

    "God.... damn...."

    "...Urgh... That hurt... like hell."
    "Oh? So you were still alive." Sen's voice contained equal paths surprise and satisfaction.

    "Congratulations. That means you've joined a pretty exclusive club. There's only a handful of people who have managed to survive being at ground zero when that 'Witch' let's loose. As a matter of fact, I think I can count the number of people on my fingers."

    Sen praised Asher, despite the fact that in a sense, he didn't really do anything. All he did was survive thanks to Sen's assistance. Although considering what had happened, perhaps even that was a feat in of itself. Through the pain, Asher noticed that Sen had placed an odd emphasis placed on the word 'Witch'. The swirling blur of a memory of what had transpired was slowly growing more focused, but his head was still spinning.

    "Thanks Sen... you saved me..."
    "Don't sweat the small stuff. Isn't it only natural for a leader to save their subordinates."

    Sen laughed.

    "Plus, you have a rather important responsibility now. Well, in a way, maybe this is a good thing? Words are cheap, but this experience should let you know just how serious a responsibility this actually is. It'd be bad if you died before you even had one day on a job."


    "Are you going be alright?"


    "...We might want to get away from here."
    "Ah..." Sen's voice trailed off. "Hmmm..."

    "Nah, there's probably no need to hurry. We're not Mary's targets, and the police should know better to interfere when 'they' are on the move... Actually, this is a pretty big issue, isn't it? Something I hadn't considered before."

    A sudden realization caused Sen to frown. She turned to face Asher with an even more serious expression.

    "This really isn't good. The only one person who could stop Mary and Mattias is no longer here. That makes it even more important to keep these two separated. Who knows what kind of damage their next encounter will cause?"




    Theola August
    Inferno
    Afternoon

    “Relax, Chief.”

    “I know a thing or two about going undercover. I’ll blend right in.”



    The chief smiled, satisfied at Theola's confident response.

    "In that case, let's get to work."

    Theola August
    Inferno
    Late Afternoon

    The rest of the meeting was spent briefing Theola on the details and going all over all the information of her new assignment. However, time ran out before the chief could cover everything he wanted, so currently Theola was carrying home several files containing the rest of the necessary details. Her duties for the day had also been resassigned, essentially making the rest of her day free and giving her ample time to memorize every last detail in those papers. Even though it had been stressed at the meeting, Theola mused that it just went to show how important this was. In the best case scenario, perhaps she could essentially finish this 'war' by herself.

    However, even as her mind idled and her feet carried her down the familiar pathways to her home, an unsettling feeling started crawling down her back. The instincts that helped her survive on the streets were raising alarm bells, telling her that she was in danger. The sense of danger contrasted sharply with the familiar peaceful scenary before her, and only served to put her even more on guard.

    Without changing her pace or giving off any sensation of change, she sharpened her senses, trying to figure out what was putting her on edge.

    *Pat* *Pat*
    *Pat* *Pat*

    Hmmm???

    *Pat* *Pat*
    *Pat* *Pat*

    A second set of footsteps, mirroring her own, some distance behind her. She was being followed.
    <Satehi> I, satehi, thought of tentacles first for entirely inappropriate, disgusting, lewd and perverted reasons

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  9. #169
    Quote Originally Posted by Sen
    "Congratulations. That means you've joined a pretty exclusive club. There's only a handful of people who have managed to survive being at ground zero when that 'Witch' let's loose. As a matter of fact, I think I can count the number of people on my fingers."

    "Plus, you have a rather important responsibility now. Well, in a way, maybe this is a good thing? Words are cheap, but this experience should let you know just how serious a responsibility this actually is. It'd be bad if you died before you even had one day on a job."
    Asher Bharrant
    Inferno
    Afternoon

    "I've seen their aftermath before, but seeing it happen in front of me is something else entirely."

    Remaining alert -trying to see if anything changes in that near-instantaneously manifested glacier,- Asher looks on in a mix of amazement and horror.

    And then, he noticed the strange emphasis. One that seems to imply a certain truth.

    Granted if anyone would know more about these two, it would likely be her...

    "...'Witch' huh? I did get the impression that she was rather hollow as a person, but do those two really just let themselves be possessed in their entirety? Giving up all they are for their ultimate vengeance?"

    Yes, for the minor glimpses that Asher had seen of these two, they seemed more akin to empty shells than a normal person.

    A husk of what they once were.

    Whether this was because the loss of their loved ones truly hurt that much, or simply that in order to draw out that much power there needs to be an heavy price, is something Asher can only speculate on.

    His own price is one that may cost him dearly, one day...

    Quote Originally Posted by Sen
    "This really isn't good. The only one person who could stop Mary and Mattias is no longer here. That makes it even more important to keep these two separated. Who knows what kind of damage their next encounter will cause?"
    "Wait what! Who was it that used to calm those two down? And please don't say it's Julius."

    The Pride members would surely already be a hassle to circumvent or deal with, but if Julius also knows just what to say and do to make those two go off like a bomb... then that is really bad news.

    And on the topic of bad news...another question enters Asher's mind.

    What is Mattias going to think of Sen's favourite restaurant being turned in a block of ice, just as she so happened to leave with her newest member?

  10. #170
    Imperial Princess Satehi's Avatar
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    Theola August
    Inferno
    Late Afternoon

    Interesting.

    During her life as an assassin, and even during her new life as a member of the force, Theola had almost always been on the hunt. The side of those who pursued their targets.

    To be followed was… an interesting experience. New.

    She had rarely ever been the target of enough interest to warrant this. It was hard to imagine why her… stalker, for lack of a better word, was after her. To the public, she was, as far as she knew, simply a capable member of the force. No one should have reason to suspect otherwise- those in the underworld surely had better things to do than hunt after someone like her?

    But the question of why didn’t interest her very much. She could hear about the details as much as she wanted after catching whoever was following her.

    She had the element of surprise on her side- something that her pursuer still had yet to realize they had lost.

    Taking care to give them no indication that she had caught onto their little pursuit, she changed destinations. Rather than head home, she walked into a nearby alleyway- one which she knew had an extra twist which she could hide behind, and upon reaching her hiding spot, she stopped. Making sure that the documents were secure, she put her hand on her sword…

    And waited.

  11. #171
    Asher Bharrant
    Inferno
    Afternoon

    "I've seen their aftermath before, but seeing it happen in front of me is something else entirely."
    Sen chuckled.

    "Well, one way or another, most people still wouldn't be able to see it even if it was happening in front of them."

    "...'Witch' huh? I did get the impression that she was rather hollow as a person, but do those two really just let themselves be possessed in their entirety? Giving up all they are for their ultimate vengeance?"
    "...the only people who could answer that question is probably the two of them. In other words, if you're brave enough you could try asking one of them. As long as you're careful, I mean."

    Sen sighed.

    "'Hollow', huh. I do understand where your impression comes from though. Their minds have been completely warped. Well, that may be a bit of the pot calling the kettle black. Even ignoring 'demons' and 'witches', every devil contractor is probably warped in some way. Otherwise, they wouldn't do something like making a contract with a devil in the first place."

    "Wait what! Who was it that used to calm those two down? And please don't say it's Julius."
    Sen opened her eyes wide in surprise to Asher's question.

    "Wait, how did you even reach that conclusion? After seeing what just happened, after seeing the kind of person these two are, you thought that there was a person who could make peace between these two? And of all people, it would be Julius, who is probably among the least suited to that role in this entire city?"

    When she put it like that, it really did seem quite absurd.

    "When I said 'stop them', I meant that quite literally. As in, by force. The only single other person I've ever seen that was in the weight class of the 'Burning Demon' and 'Ice Witch'. That would be the police force's 'Star'. Honestly, the fact that such a person exists might be even more outrageous than the idea of a person who is able to calm their grudge. Ha..."

    Sen shrugged in an exaggerated fashion.

    "But word is that 'Star' got promoted out of Inferno. Which is mostly cause for celebration, since we no longer have to deal with such a troublesome enemy. It just completely skipped my mind until now that it means we also lost our 'safety valve' as well. What's the opposite expression of 'Every cloud has it's silver lining?'"




    Theola August
    Inferno
    Late Afternoon

    The footsteps paused for a moment before they resumed their chase.

    A figure entered the alleyway after her and began scanning the surroundings, looking for her. He chuckled softly to himself as he slowly moved deeper and deeper into the alleyway, as he searched for his prey.

    The air caught inside Theola's throat. She recognized this man.

    Of course, she had never met him before personally. This was their first encounter. But still she knew this man.

    She had seen his visage often enough as it was posted among the top of the 'Most Wanted' list back in the police department. And it goes without saying that Theola knew the special instructions on what to do when encountering him.

    "Do not engage. Call for backup."

    Different from 'Burning Demon' Mattias and 'Ice Witch' Mary who can cause mass devastation if provoked.

    Different too from 'Sin of Pride' Julius who preferred schemes and machinations.

    With both his 'threat' and 'danger' rating considered maximum, someone who only exists to kill.

    The one hunting her was the 'Zero'.

    Spoiler:

    'Zero'
    Serial Killer;Bladed Demon
    <Satehi> I, satehi, thought of tentacles first for entirely inappropriate, disgusting, lewd and perverted reasons

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  12. #172
    Asher Bharrant
    Inferno
    Afternoon

    "'Hollow', huh. I do understand where your impression comes from though. Their minds have been completely warped. Well, that may be a bit of the pot calling the kettle black. Even ignoring 'demons' and 'witches', every devil contractor is probably warped in some way. Otherwise, they wouldn't do something like making a contract with a devil in the first place."
    Asher pondered about those words. Sen isn't wrong that to those that make a contract with a Devil aren't exactly the most sane people around, however not all of them are as stupid about it as Pike is.

    Sometimes embracing the insane is the most sane thing you can do.

    This city has a way to bring out the ugliest side of human nature, and if the ultimate taboo is what's needed to escape, survive or change this hellhole than perhaps that's what must be done.

    Asher certainly wasn't alone in choosing to deal with the supernatural, rather than continue to be powerless as his life continues to shatter and break apart.

    "Wait, how did you even reach that conclusion? After seeing what just happened, after seeing the kind of person these two are, you thought that there was a person who could make peace between these two? And of all people, it would be Julius, who is probably among the least suited to that role in this entire city?"
    "Make peace, oh hell no. But a crafty snake like him should at least be able to ensure those two don't meet in the first place. Well, that's if he'd actually uses his brain for something useful, rather than plunge the Inferno into further chaos."

    Still vigilantly keeping an eye out towards the massive slab of ice, the man quickly explains his thought process as well as speak his mind about the Sin of Pride.

    "When I said 'stop them', I meant that quite literally. As in, by force. The only single other person I've ever seen that was in the weight class of the 'Burning Demon' and 'Ice Witch'. That would be the police force's 'Star'. Honestly, the fact that such a person exists might be even more outrageous than the idea of a person who is able to calm their grudge. Ha..."

    "But word is that 'Star' got promoted out of Inferno. Which is mostly cause for celebration, since we no longer have to deal with such a troublesome enemy. It just completely skipped my mind until now that it means we also lost our 'safety valve' as well. What's the opposite expression of 'Every cloud has it's silver lining?'"
    "...You gotta be fucking kidding me."

    Perhaps rightfully, that particular statement pisses Asher off.

    "Out of anyone that deserves to get out of here some ticking timebomb is sent up instead!?"

    The target of his anger however is a little confusing from an outsider's perspective.

    "What the hell is someone like that even supposed to do in the upper levels? If she can go toe to toe against those two surely she's a devil contractor herself."

    Of course, Sen doesn't know of the wish her newest member carries... or the price he paid for that wish to become a possibility.

    "Is that the justice the police stand for, just fight fire with fire as the innocents burn and you'll be rewarded? "

    So to see it being granted by someone that, in Asher's eyes, doesn't deserve it in the slightest... serves a grim reminder of what he once had.

    Those happy little memories, now feel trampled upon with this news...

    Justice is hard to find in a place like this.

  13. #173
    Asher Bharrant
    Inferno
    Afternoon

    "Make peace, oh hell no. But a crafty snake like him should at least be able to ensure those two don't meet in the first place. Well, that's if he'd actually uses his brain for something useful, rather than plunge the Inferno into further chaos."


    "Well, I won't really argue with much of that. Although if the two were truly determined to encounter one another, I don't think there's anything that can stop them. But it's because they're so lifeless normally that they're 'safe', for a given enough value."

    "...You gotta be fucking kidding me."

    "Out of anyone that deserves to get out of here some ticking timebomb is sent up instead!?"


    Sen shrugged.

    "That's bureaucracy for you. Promoted beyond where you'd be most useful. Although, I don't really know if I'd call her a ticking timebomb..."

    "What the hell is someone like that even supposed to do in the upper levels? If she can go toe to toe against those two surely she's a devil contractor herself."


    At this point in Asher's outburst, for the first time, Sen had a troubled expression on her face. As if there was something bothering her.

    "I think... thought so too. But... if it's a devil contract of some sort, then it is a blatantly unfair one. But it bothers me. Bits and pieces just don't add up. It doesn't seem like she has any kind of restrictions on her at all, and I've seen her shrug off everything from demon's fire to witch's ice. The fact that a devil contractor could subdue 'demons' and 'witches' without being one is already pretty crazy without there being such a gap. And she's not exactly subtle, and the fact is, devil contracts are still the greatest taboo. I know the upper management conducted a thorough investigation, but in the end they gave her a clean bill of health. And plus, there's-"

    Sen's theorizing was interrupted by Asher's continued outburst.

    "Is that the justice the police stand for, just fight fire with fire as the innocents burn and you'll be rewarded? "


    At this end, Sen looked kind of bewildered.

    "You've lost me. What are you even talking about."
    <Satehi> I, satehi, thought of tentacles first for entirely inappropriate, disgusting, lewd and perverted reasons

    Honk





  14. #174
    Asher Bharrant
    Inferno
    Afternoon

    "I..."

    Sen's words cut through Asher's angry ramble. Suddenly the man realizes the situation he's in, and that in his carelessness he may have let loose a bit too much.

    "Sorry, I lost myself there for second."

    Scratching his scalp for a moment as he recollects himself, Asher looks away from Sen for a moment.

    "...Remember when I told you that I'm aware what those two can do when they go at each other?"



    Only to meet those eyes once more head on, as he goes to share his --possibly twisted-- view.

    "I've seen a lot of good people, innocent people, getting hurt, being abused, trampled over, burned, spurned or simply left to die in this place. The police simply stands by and watches as these people get their lives torn apart. You can see it in their eyes, the cops aren't looking at people as lives to be protected. In their eyes, no one in Inferno is innocent."

    The truth behind such a claim is hard to verify. Of course in a place like this, a good amount of police gave up on their initial oaths. Some have undoubtedly lost themselves to revenge, grief or perhaps were simply corrupted by power. It's only natural to those that come in such close contact with evil day after day to lose themselves in it. Human nature can be quite violent indeed...

    ...And yet, as surely as their are rotten apples, so too must there be those still willing to protect the innocent. To pursue the justice they once stood for.

    But on that fateful day, so long ago now...

    "I lost my family and friends because I was powerless, swept away in chaos and strife as the police stood by and did nothing."

    No such person showed up...

    "That's why I came to you actually. I... I admired how you simply took what you wanted. No grand schemes, no eternal rivalry, none of that bullshit. You know what you want, and you're not going to let anyone stop you from having it."

    There is but one harsh truth here in the lower levels of Eden, a truth everyone learns eventually.

    Life is not kind. All you have is the power you can muster. And those without power... get trampled by those who do.

    "So yeah, hearing that someone in that godforsaken police-force could have made a difference, help out the people that don't deserve to be condemned to this place, but is now living it up in the upper levels .. It ticks me off."

    Those eyes eventually return to look back to the icy visage, where those fools who believed themselves powerful were trampled all the same.

    "But enough about that, you were saying she... isn't a devil contractor? Something's gotta be backing this person if she can fight back against hellfire and permafrost."

    Hopefully, with Asher's outburst and background placed in a more enlightening view, the topic can shift back to this mysterious force said to be the equal of the Sin of Lust as well as that of the Witch of Ice and Frost.

  15. #175
    Imperial Princess Satehi's Avatar
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    Theola August
    Inferno
    Late Afternoon

    …Unexpected.

    That was the word that best described Theola’s thoughts towards this current situation. Unexpected. She could not have imagined that her pursuer would be such a high-profile figure from the city’s underworld.

    However, it was only ‘unexpected’.

    Perhaps if someone else were in her position, they might have thought that they made a mistake in choosing to trap themselves in this alleyway, with no way out. They might have regretted their decision to come here and confront their pursuer, might have wallowed in anguish at the prospect that their life might be cut short very soon.

    But they were not Theola August.

    In this situation, there was no time for regrets. She had not given up. It was impossible to hide for real in this alley- her pursuer was doubtlessly aware that she had come inside. Disguising herself as someone else unrelated and attempting to escape that way completely out of the question- a killer like Zero did not strike her as the type to show leniency to bystanders. It was, perhaps, possible to try and flee out of this alleyway another way- but she had her doubts about successfully getting away in an open pursuit. In summary, all her conventional options sucked.

    Which meant that if she wanted to get out of this situation, she needed something unconventional. Something that even her pursuer would not expect.

    And for someone like Zero, who was so feared that officers were advised to run away- she could not have imagined anything that would surprise him more than the prospect of his target choosing to strike back first.

    Unfortunately, she would have to give up on her original plan of interrogating her pursuer, as bold as her plan was, she doubted the element of surprise would give her anything more than a minor initial advantage. She would simply have to make the most out of it- inflict an injury severe enough that he would be unable to pursue her any further, and then flee for it.

    Everything rested on her first strike.

    She waited for him to get closer.

    Spoiler:

    Perks:
    Dirty Fighting
    When it comes to fighting, you have no rules. Cheap shots, dirty tricks, kicking people when they're down, you know exactly how to gain every tiny bit of advantage you can possibly get. When a person is going down, you make sure they stay down.

    The concept of honorable fighting is still a little foreign to Theola, who believes in the ends over the means.

    Abilities:
    Violence Engine
    Cost: 1/Turn
    Simply put, her physical performance goes into overdrive and her strength experiences a dramatic increase.

  16. #176
    Asher Bharrant
    Inferno
    Afternoon

    "I..."

    "Sorry, I lost myself there for second."

    "...Remember when I told you that I'm aware what those two can do when they go at each other?"

    "I've seen a lot of good people, innocent people, getting hurt, being abused, trampled over, burned, spurned or simply left to die in this place. The police simply stands by and watches as these people get their lives torn apart. You can see it in their eyes, the cops aren't looking at people as lives to be protected. In their eyes, no one in Inferno is innocent."

    Sen raised an eye as Asher's sudden emotional confession caught her off guard. She crossed her arms as if to respond, but instead remained silent, as if waiting, allowing Asher to finish first.

    "I lost my family and friends because I was powerless, swept away in chaos and strife as the police stood by and did nothing."
    "That's why I came to you actually. I... I admired how you simply took what you wanted. No grand schemes, no eternal rivalry, none of that bullshit. You know what you want, and you're not going to let anyone stop you from having it."

    "But enough about that, you were saying she... isn't a devil contractor? Something's gotta be backing this person if she can fight back against hellfire and permafrost."

    Sen waited a few moments to see if there would be any more before giving a deep sigh.

    "I think you're misunderstanding a very fundamental point. In this city, everybody can only look after themselves. It sounds like you have some sort of grand ideas in your mind, so I'll tell you now; throw them away. Regardless of what others might think or not think, I can't particularly say I care very much. But I will say that getting involved in incidents way outside your scale is a quick ticket to suicide. There is no point in pointlessly throwing your life away when it won't make any difference."

    "That's right. I know what I want, and I take what I want, and I don't particularly care for who I have to go through to get it. If people don't want to be trampled, then they need to get out of my way. But that doesn't necessarily mean being reckless. I'm well aware of my own capabilities, and I'm well aware that I need to be alive in order to continue living. As for her..."

    At this point, Sen threw her arms in the air.

    "Hell if I know. Frankly, I've wracked my brain on this before, and every last bit of information is locked down so tight that I doubt even Julius has any inkling... Let's just assume she is one then. It's pretty impossible to believe she's a normal human at any rate-"

    Sen's voice suddenly trailed off. Asher followed her line of vision towards the entrance of the former restaurant, now a giant ice cube. There was a strange black smoke leaking out from the doorway, passing through the solid ice as if it were made of air.

    "Those words must have really got to Mary. I didn't think she'd get this upset. I guess that's our cue to go."

    Sen looked Asher over a couple of times and nodded.

    "Well, you seem to be more or less good to go. It's probably a good idea to head back home now. This has been quite an unexpectedly eventful meal. Now if you'll excuse me..."

    In a moment, her entire demeanor shifted.

    "I think there are some new errands I need to take care of, some people I need to pay a visit," she spoke, with wrath in her voice.




    Asher Bharrant
    Inferno
    Afternoon

    Sen had rushed off to take care of 'business matters' leaving Asher to head home alone. The streets were completely deserted, no doubt because anyone in the area had noticed the new landscape and decided that it was in the best interest of their health to find things to do elsewhere. The only sound amidst the silence was the lone footsteps of Asher... and another pair of footsteps quickly approaching.

    "Excuse me, but I'm a bit lost."

    Asher suddenly snapped out of his thoughts back to the real world. He turned around to find himself face to face with a stranger, a young blonde woman by the looks of it that somehow felt out of place.

    "I'm not really familiar with this area and there doesn't really seem to be anyone around. Could you direct me to the governor's house?"

    Spoiler:


    ?????





    Theola August
    Inferno
    Late Afternoon

    "After May comes June, July, and August, but who cares about June and July"

    The serial killer sang a little tune as he slowly searched for her location. The bastard. He was clearly hunting her specifically.

    Well, she had a surprise for him. She patiently waited as he slowly made his way closer and closer to her position. Closer and closer to her range. Until...

    ...the instant he stepped in...

    She burst out with a superhuman speed, with her blade aimed directly to pierce his heart. There was no hint of any desire to take him down in a nonlethal manner, this strike was meant purely to kill.

    "y-!?"

    Almost by some miracle, he managed bring his knife back in time to parry her sword, but it wasn't completely enough. Her blade bounced, landing a scathing scratch against his shoulder. But she wasn't finished yet. With her other hand, she threw several empty bottles that she had found nearby at his face. He manged to protect his head by lifting his other arm to cover it, but it's reward were numerous cuts.

    Still not enough.

    She continued her assault, forcing Zero completely on the defensive, not even giving him a chance to strike back. He was completely outmatched, both in weapon and skill. It was almost a surprise to Theola; she hadn't expected her to outclass such an infamous killer to such a degree, even if she herself was fairly abnormal. She had not found an opening to flee yet, but at this rate it was only a matter of time until one opened up. In fact, she could even win.

    "You're... not... normal... are... you..." he spoke as he desperately parried Theola's attacks.

    *Clang*

    At last the moment came. Zero stumbled backwards, off balance with his balance broken, his arms flailing wildly. This was Theola's chance.
    <Satehi> I, satehi, thought of tentacles first for entirely inappropriate, disgusting, lewd and perverted reasons

    Honk





  17. #177
    Asher Bharrant
    Inferno
    Afternoon

    A puzzled look becomes quite evident on Asher's face as his mind processes the peculiar request of the stranger before him.

    No introductions, seemingly no sense of self preservation, simply a nameless maiden asking to venture to one of the secured places in the Inferno.

    Especially now after the Governor was attacked at the Plaza...

    "Sure, but are you certain that's where you want to be right now? Given the attack she might not even be there currently you know? The guards outside probably won't let you in either unless you're expected."

    Naturally, one can't undo the kindness or manners that his parents instilled in him.

    "I can also take you there if you prefer having a guide. ...You don't exactly appear like someone that can hold their own."

    A mental image of Pike appears as Bharrant finished, a soft reminder that the outward appearance doesn't mean much in this city.

    It's more likely to keep in mind that nothing is quite as it seems with the people of Inferno, but---

    ---Was she really from the Inferno?

    A question for later, perhaps.

    "But for starters, you can call me Asher. Do you happen to have a name?"

    Shouldn't hurt to learn the name of this strange girl at least.

    Introductions are important after all.

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